‘Catfish’ Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman to Scare Up Another ‘Paranormal Activity’

Just days after Paramount announced that they’re (shockingly!) going ahead with a fourth installment in their runaway scare-em-up success Paranormal Activity franchise comes word that Paranormal Activity 3 co-directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are back on board to direct. The pair took on PA3 after the success of their “documentary” Catfish, and while that film has certainly had its own share of speculation as to its veracity, the pair’s ability to present fiction as fact (or vice versa) helped make the third Paranormal Activity the best (and most inventive) yet.

The fourth film is already slated to hit theaters on October 19, 2012, continuing the franchise’s established tradition of a pre-Halloween opening (the first film was the only one to not occupy a similar release date), effectively stealing the thunder of the Saw franchise now and forever.

Our pals over at /Film took this opportunity to speculate about what the next Paranormal Activity would entail, positing that “the story of Paranormal Activity 4 will likely go one of two ways. Either it can go back in the past and show why Katie and Kristi’s grandmother got all wacky or it can jump ahead (something I felt the third film was lacking) and explain what is going on with the now possessed Katie and her nephew, who she’s kidnapped from her dead sister.” Those ideas just got my gears turning for what I want to see in the next installment.

While I think both ideas are certainly possible, after enduring PA3 (and endured it, I did, screaming and clutching my way through it like one of those people on their viral marketing ads), I was most interested in what happened to Katie and Kristi after the events of PA3, but before PA1 and PA2. When we leave them (spoilers!) at the end of PA3, they’re in the care of their witchy old grandmother and (we can only assume) her crazy cohorts. PA1 and PA2 chronicle the girls in their twenties, and though they make mention of not quite remembering their childhoods, that’s a quick and dirty explanation that seems a bit shined-on. Clearly, a bunch of other stuff happened between their childhoods and their young adulthoods and, if it was anything like what we’ve already seen, it was insane. Also – anyone remember all that stuff about how Katie and Kristi’s childhood home burnt down? All those charred pictures that pop up in both PA1 and PA2? When exactly did that happen? I’d watch the heck out of that.

But while I’d be most interested in seeing more childhood Katie and Kristi, Germain at /Film also makes mention of some fun, new ways to use the found footage angle of the film, particularly if the film did focus on “current-day” Katie, asking “if Katie is possessed out in the world, how would several weeks of her creepy actions be captured? That will be the task of the screenwriters and Joost/Schulman to decide but one friend of mine (I’d give you credit but I forget which one) had a brilliant suggestion: police interrogation footage.” That ain’t bad.

In any case, the third Paranormal Activity was far and away my favorite of the films, and I remain a dedicated fan of Catfish, so I am quite eager to hear where Joost and Schulman plan to take their next film. I am slightly less looking forward to making a total ass out of myself in the theater as I mewl my way through another viewing, however. [Bloody Disgusting, via /Film]



Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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